Our Roads

05 February 2014

Middlesbrough Council Highways department response to questions posed by Nunthorpe Parish Council on the present condition of the fragile road system in south Middlesbrough and their proposed actions. If you have any comments on the Council's response why not use the 'Have Your Say' facility.

Nunthorpe Parish Council Highway Questions

Further to you letter of the 16th December 2013 please find below responses to the questions raised.

 

Question 1) A previous MBC reason for not allowing development in parts of south Middlesbrough was the limitation of the existing fragile road system across this area. With the threat of more large-scale housing proposals in both south Middlesbrough, nearby Redcar & Cleveland and Hambleton with the inevitable increase in peak-hour commuters, could you please explain what has, or will, change in the road system to justify allowing such housing proposals to go ahead

 

Response: - As part of the local development framework process the traffic impact of potential new housing sites is assessed. This is an ongoing process which has initially used the Tees Valley Strategic Transport model to simulate the additional traffic that would be generated from new housing in the future.

 A number of new highways have been plugged into the model to assess their affect on the capacity of the highway network. The initial work indicates that the majority of the network will accommodate the extra traffic, if the new roads are also built. The area which requires further detailed work is around the Swans Corner area, for which some further joint work with Redcar and Cleveland Council is required. This will be undertaking in the coming months in preparation for the formal examination of the Local Development Framework (LDF).

 

Question 2) The Council has stated in their policy CS17 - "Development should be located where it will not have a detrimental impact upon the operation of the strategic transport network ...". With the burgeoning amount of proposed development in south Middlesbrough could the Highways officers explain why the Council is appearing to not comply with their own policy? South Middlesbrough residents insist it should be the provision of adequate roads first and then houses next (if actually required).

 

Response - Policy CS17 relates to the strategic transport network, which means those roads under the control of the Highways Agency. Again the Council is working with the Highways Agency to assess the impact on their network and whether further highway modifications will be necessary to accommodate the generated flows. With regards the timing of any mitigation works, as the majority will be funded from contributions from the developers these will be phased to meet the highway needs as the housing is being built out. Thus phasing is linked to provide the highway changes as and when they are needed.

 

Question 3) What is the time scale for the Prissick Relief Road and how is it to be financed?

 

Response -  The Prissick Relief road as you have termed it is split into two phases linked to the new Sports village and James Cook University Hospital. The first phase which is on site currently provides a link from Ladgate Lane to the new sports village. Phase two (expected to start on site March /April this year) links further to a new enhanced staff car park at the hospital. The car park and new access will provide relief to Marton Road in the vicinity of the existing Hospital entrances and will overall free up some capacity on the corridor as a whole. The staff car park is to be managed on a permitted basis so this will influence travel patterns to the hospital. In addition work has also started on a new rail halt at the Hospital which when complete will also provide some relief to the Marton Road corridor. The new road and car park is being funded from a variety of sources including contributions from existing approved housing developments, the hospital and the Council’s capital funds.

 

Question 4) What is the Council's intention on providing genuine relief on the Stainton Way to Ladgate Lane pinch-point route to ease the Marton Road crawl?

 

Response - The Council is looking at various highway improvements to maximise the use of the existing road network and where feasible work to introduce new highway capacity, through new road building. Funding has already been secured to increase the capacity on Stainton Way which should encourage its use as an alternative to Dixons Bank / Stokesley Road to gain access to the A174 and A19.

 

Two new road links are also being investigated to provide a western extension to Stainton Way from Low Lane through to Mandale Interchange with the A19 and a second link from Longlands Road (to the A66) and Ladgate Lane. These are at a very preliminary stage, however the traffic model does show that they are worthwhile developing in further detail. As has been discussed previously there is very little opportunity to increase the capacity of the stretch of road between Stainton Way and Ladgate Lane due to the physical constraints.

 

Question 5) Can we assume the East Middlesbrough Gateway from Swans Corner to Stainton Way is now officially abandoned? If so what alternatives does the Council have in mind to ease the east-west cross-Middlesbrough peak hour traffic flow in lieu of the full EMTC proposal? Please note we consider the Prissick Relief Road is insufficient to provide adequate mitigation for Nunthorpe commuters.

 

Response -  Discussions are still continuing with Redcar and Cleveland regarding the potential to be able to deliver this link with respect to future housing allocations within Redcar and Cleveland LDF review. The strategic modelling work does show positive benefits of such a link. Further work is also planned as outlined in the response to question 1. The Middlesbrough LDF does however include the northern section of the EMTC in the infrastructure plan, which on its own does show sufficient transport benefits to a worthwhile project.

 

Question 6) When will the so-called Stainton Way improvements (Dixons Bank to Hemlington) commence using the Grey Towers Farm s106 obligations?

 

Response - There are eleven separate schemes that have been agreed and these will be phased over the coming years dependant on the speed of take up of the new houses. It is expected that the first scheme will be delivered during the coming year.

 

Question 7) Has the Highways Agency advised a time-scale for the A19 - A174 interchange improvements? What would be the scale and duration of the A174 traffic impact during the upgrade process?

 

Response – Preparatory works are currently underway with the main site works starting in earnest in May through to December this year. There will be no peak hour restrictions to traffic with lane restrictions limited to off peak and weekend. Towards the end of the works there may be some short closures to undertake final road resurfacing works.

 

Question 8) Is there a genuine prospect for a Park and Ride railway halt in Nunthorpe and does the Council have a realistic time scale? And who pays for it?

 

Response - Initial feasibility work suggests that this will not be a viable scheme in the short to medium term.

 

Question 9) Does the Council have any intentions on improving the safety of pedestrians on Guisborough Road?

 

Response - The safety of all users of the highway is a priority of the Highway Authority. The current minimum width of a new footpath/footway as shown in the Design Guide and Specification is 2m which is an increase over the previous level of 1.8m, however, footpaths that have been in existence for many years can be below this standard. Footpaths along Guisborough Road vary in width along its length and, in relation to current standards, some areas are substandard.

 

It is very difficult to widen these areas as this would result in restrictions for other road users, however in some of these areas the situation would be improved by the reduction in the width of the hedges to the back of the footpath along the frontages. While these areas would seem to be of concern for pedestrians, examination of the injury accidents that involve pedestrians along Guisborough Road in the previous 5 years show that the level is very low with only 2 slight injuries.

 

Question 10) What is the chance of having a pedestrian controlled crossing on Guisborough Road near the Stokesley Road junction?

 

Response - A scheme was recently carried out at the junction of Guisborough Road and Stokesley Road as a result of concerns expressed by residents regarding pedestrian movements and traffic speeds. This scheme narrowed the junction mouth to reduce traffic speed and provided improved footpaths and crossing points across both roads.

 

It may be possible, subject to technical investigation and the availability of funding, to introduce a crossing facility to the east of the Stokesley Road junction.

This would provide a safe crossing point for parents and children travelling to the local primary school. Due to the number of requests for such crossings, the council has to prioritise locations for which they can be funded from reducing levels of available resources.

 

As is the case with other authorities, such assessments are carried out using national guidance issued by the Department for Transport taking into account levels of pedestrians and vehicles, as well as local factors such as proximity to schools.

Councillor Thompson has informed me that this issue is to be discussed at the next Community Council meeting.

 

Question 11) Cycling is becoming more popular but also more dangerous on Nunthorpe's roads. Will the Council's cycling strategy offer any safe cycle lanes in Nunthorpe (and not just in new developments!)?

 

Response - There has been in significant increase in cycling both nationally and locally in the last few years for many reasons including health benefits and personal economic circumstances. The introduction of cycle routes both on-road and segregated is an ongoing commitment of the Highway Authority and the 10 year Cycling Strategy recently produced, available on the Council website, contains details of the proposed improvements within Middlesbrough.

 

These schemes are designed to improve in the first instance access into the town centre so that further schemes can extend into the surrounding areas. When designing new developments the provision of cycle infrastructure forms part of the overall scheme, however, it can be more challenging to provide the same facilities on the existing highway network.

 

In order to provide these routes there must be sufficient space within the adopted highway to safely accommodate all traffic needs. On a positive note analysis of the injury accident records show that while in the past three years there has been an increase in cycle use there has not been an equivalent rise in cycle casualties.

 

Question 12) The council has undertaken in their policy CS17 “to promote alternative modes of transport other than the private car". This is easily said but how do they intend to carry out this undertaking?

 

Response - The Council is proactively promoting sustainable transport through many schemes and initiatives some of which are highlighted below.

The Council along with Tees Valley partners are investing significant Government direct grant in a 5 year programme of bus corridor improvements. The aim is to improve bus punctuality and reliability to redress the decline in passenger use over recent years.

 

The Council has approved a 10 year cycling plan which lists the infrastructure improvements that will be implemented over the coming years using a variety of funding opportunities.

 

A new rail halt is under construction at James Cook linked to increased number of train frequencies on the line from Middlesbrough to Nunthorpe. This will assist both commuter and visitor access to the hospital site.

We are also in the process of adopting a 10 year walking plan to focus investment in this area similar to the cycle plan.

 

Question 13) How do we question the Council if we are unhappy about the performance of the newly imposed 20mph speed limits? E.g. Mallowdale could safely be increased to 30mph, Guisborough Road should definitely be reduced to 20mph?

 

Response - I will take your request through this letter to undertake a speed limit review on the roads highlighted. Any further requests for a speed limit review can be submitted to myself and I will ensure that a review is undertaken and feedback the outcomes of the review to the Parish Council. Any review would include and take account of consultation with local residents via the Community Council, data on speed collected both before and after the introduction of the new limits and national guidance on appropriate speed limits.

 

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me further.

Yours Sincerely

 

Derek Gittins

Highways and Transportation Manager

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20 May 2012

Nunthorpe has grown up with an outdated road system. The original roads  were designed for far fewer and much smaller cars than the amount and type of traffic we see today. Even our major thoroughfare, Guisborough Road, often reaches its saturation point during the workday busy hours. Most of this traffic does not originate in Nunthorpe.  

Despite the cost and effort to provide the Nunthorpe Bypass there are still a large number of motorists whose workplace is in Middlesbrough and perhaps further north, who prefer to short cut (rat-run) through Guisborough Road and other Nunthorpe feeder roads such as The Avenue, Marton Moor Road and Connaught Road. These residential roads are regarded as unsuitable for the usually fast travelling rat-runners on their way to and from their workplace. On some Nunthorpe roads parents are terrified at letting their children play outside their own front gate and sensibly so. 

We have four schools in Nunthorpe. School traffic in the mornings and afternoons is often sufficient to clog up the residential roads in the area as well as roads into and out of Nunthorpe. Living at the far end of the Marton Road Crawl, Nunthorpe residents often have some tedious times trying to reach or return from Middlesbrough during peak hours. Middlesbrough Council have made a number of ineffectual attempts at improving The Crawl but with little success.

All of these problems will undoubtedly be exacerbated if any of the proposed housing estates are added to the community, for instance proposed 295 houses on Grey Towers Farm, plus all those other future green field sites recognised as potential housing estates available in the next 5 - 10 years. Mitigation plans  submitted by developers or suggested by Middlesbrough Council appear to fall very short of an ideal resolution to Nunthorpe's traffic problems.

Below is an excellent review from a traffic-learned resident  on a developer's suggested mitigation solution to improve The Marton Road Crawl :-


THE 295 HOUSE TRAFFIC PROPOSALS BY DEVELOPER DAVID WILSON HOMES

 On 19th November 2010 I attended the 2nd public exhibition by David Wilson Homes and inspected the proposals they are putting forward in respect of S 106 Road and Transport Improvements which they suggest will mitigate any increase on traffic the proposed development may produce.

 A172 – A174 Southbound (Roughly between Marton Country Club and Capt. Cooks School)

 The proposal is to have 2 lanes travelling south and 1 lane to turn right on the bridge section.

The means that approaching this section the road would open from a single lane into  three lanes, the offside turning right for the A 174, two lanes continuing on and then merging back into a single lane.

 OBSERVATIONS

The two southbound lanes would effectively be a vehicle storage zone and as the road ahead begins to clear there would be a bottleneck as the vehicles moved and merged into a single lane.

This in turn would create a slower moving traffic flow and cause problems for vehicles behind including those exiting the A 174 and turning right.

There would be no improvement on the current situation and potentially could make the situation worse.

Merging traffic has the potential to result in accidents.

(Observe traffic merging on Motorways for the effect on a large scale)

 

Gunnergate Lane to A 174.

 The proposal is for a new traffic light free slip lane for vehicles turning left to the A172 and a single lane for ahead and turn right traffic controlled by traffic lights and the southern kerb being re-profiled.

 

OBSERVATIONS

This junction has just had a major revamp with the southern kerb line of Gunnergate Lane being re-profiled, the bus lay-by being extended to remove the previous obstruction, of the A 172, caused by a stationary bus together with work involving the pedestrian lights and refuge.

The proposed new slip lane would encroach into the bus lay-by making it a potential accident zone.

It could also be a point where buses wishing to use the lay-by are prevented by vehicles wanting to enter the A 172, from the slip lane, thus causing and obstruction on the A172 and defeating the objectives of the work recently carried out.

This will do nothing to assist in resolving the traffic flows on the A 172 but may well assist traffic exiting Gunnergate Lane)

 

 

Southern Cross Junction.  (Stainton Way from the direction of Coulby Newham towards the A 172).

 The proposal is for the current single turn right lane, towards Poole round-a-bout, to be made into two lanes and the current two ahead lanes reduced to a single lane.

 OBSERVATIONS

The current traffic light sequence favours the a-head traffic followed by the turn right traffic.

Under this current system accessing the a-head lanes and left filter lane, at peak hour, is denied because of the turn right traffic backing up, caused by a red traffic light, and cutting off the access.

If the two turn right lanes are put into place access to them would be denied, at peak hours, because of a-head and filter left traffic would deny access, again due to a red traffic light. 

(This would produce a mirror image of what we currently have).

Also there is the problem of two lanes turning right and then immediately having to merge into a single lane with the added complication of a set of pedestrian traffic signals a very short distance from the merge point.

This would present a serious accident zone on the A172.

It also has the potential to reduce the traffic flow volume on both the A172 and Stainton Way similar to that at the A 172/A174 Marton.

 

(This whole junction, together with the traffic light system, was engineered for Stainton Way to be connected with the A 171 Swan’s Corner  and will never function properly no matter what MBC, Consultant Engineers or anyone else says, until the road is completed).

Looking at the proposals for the round-a-bouts at,

1.      B1365/ Newham Way/Viewly Hill Avenue (Hemlington main entrance)

2.      B1365/Stainton Way

3.      Stainton Way/Kings Academy (New round-a-bout giving access to Kings Academy)

4.      Stainton Way/Dalby Way (Focus/Rainbow Centre access)

5.      Stainton Way/Newham Way/Lingfield (Tesco access)

6.      Stainton Way/The Fairway (Willowbank access)

It would appear that apart from a few minor kerb re-alignments the majority of the proposals are in the shape of re-marking the roads with a different lane system at each round-a-bout.

From the diagrams shown it would appear that the current road markings are being removed and replaced with road markings that were in place on the roads before the current ones.

I understand that the current road marking were put in place in an attempt to reduce road accidents and standardise round-a-bout approach road lane markings.

Therefore if these are being replaced by markings similar to the original ones are we to expect an increase in road accidents?

 The remaining alterations are of little or no consequence.

 

John R. Hawkins  21.11.2010
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23 March 2013

Is any resident in Nunthorpe interested in starting a Speedwatch?


Residents across Teesside wanted for Community Speed Watch



speeding on their streets, by volunteering for Community Speed Watch.
Residents across Teesside are being given the chance to combat 

The project, run by Neighbourhood Policing teams, will fully train volunteers from the local community to monitor vehicle speeds in their area.

Cleveland Police hope the scheme will help raise awareness of the impact of anti-social driving.

Assistant chief constable Sean White hopes it will have a "positive" result.

The volunteers will work alongside police officers in areas up to a 40mph limit, to operate roadside checks using a Simple Speed Indicator Device and road signage to identify vehicles which exceed the limit.

Mr White, said: "Speeding is a major factor that affects the quality of life in communities.

"The initiative is not an enforcement tool, rather an educational one, by working in partnership with local people we can have a positive impact on driver behaviour in their area, as well as providing reassurance to the local community."

Community Speed Watch is already running in other parts of the country and communities say it has a "significant impact" in their quality of life and a greater feeling of safety.

Contact PC772 Nick on 01642 303419 if you are interested in taking part.